Jamaican patty — Photo courtesy of stu_spivack
Jamaican patty is a rich, savory and spicy handheld pie - similar to an empanada. Its signature golden crust is infused with turmeric, and inside is a spicy, meaty filling usually made with ground beef and Scotch bonnet peppers.
While several vendors ply Jamaican patty, only one can be the best. Head to the unmarked stand between the main intersection and the ATEC tourist office. Here, a steamy glass case is filled with fresh-baked patties by a local family of bakers, using a recipe based on Cornish pasties. Worth the trip.
Chicheme — Photo courtesy of Christina Xu
Cool your mouth with chicheme, a creamy coconut milk beverage with hints of ginger, cinnamon and vanilla. Chichime has a smooth mouthfeel and a subtle sweetness, thickened with sweet corn and delicious down to the last drop. Just drinking a cup of chicheme can instantly make you feel happier, healthier, and more irie.
To get CR's best chicheme, head to Salsa Brava beach on a Sunday and look for a roadside stand. Baby Rasta inherited his chicheme recipe from his mother, who learned it from her mother back in Jamaica. Made in his home kitchen in an enormous cauldron, then poured into buckets that traverse bumpy roads by bicycle, Baby Rasta’s chicheme is a deeply satisfying concoction.
Raw cacao fruit — Photo courtesy of Selva Chocolate
Chocolate is by far Puerto Viejo's best kept secret street eat, although it's only a secret to the rest of the world. Locals have been savoring the sweet white pulp and its savory chocolate seeds since pre-Colombian times, but this ancient food of the Gods is experiencing a renaissance.
Now, you can find the brightly-colored ovoid fruits heaped on market stall tables across the city, and organic tree-to-bar chocolates are handcrafted by a growing cadre of local chocolate makers and sold at the Saturday morning farmer's market.
Savor la pura vida in Puerto Viejo's thriving street food scenes.